SS Das backs Smriti Mandhana to overcome poor form

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safari
23 Sep 2021 | 09:30 AM
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SS Das backs Smriti Mandhana to overcome poor form

India were handed a nine-wicket thrashing by Australia in the opening ODI of the three-match series

Indian women's team batting coach Shiv Sunder Das on Thursday promised a different approach to counter Australian bowlers and backed out-of-form opener Smriti Mandhana to come good in the second ODI against the hosts here. India were handed a nine-wicket thrashing by Australia in the opening ODI of the three-match series on Tuesday.

"We are looking at the top-order to give us a good start and the middle order -- they have worked hard in the last few sessions, we have some plans. I think they'll play differently in tomorrow's game," Das said on the eve of the second ODI.

"We have Shafali (Verma) and Smriti... I am positive they will give a good start and once we score 60-70 runs in the 10 overs we can carry that momentum in the middle overs," he added.

India, who are aiming to post 250 plus consistently fell short of the mark once again, managing 225 for eight in their quota of 50 overs in the first ODI, but the batting coach said the Mithali Raj-led side has a plan in place for the second game to keep the scoreboard ticking.

"We are working on that aspect of the game, we are looking for a good start and in the middle overs we are looking at the average of five runs and in the end we are looking at six runs per over. That's our batting plan."

After the loss of openers Mandhana and Shafali Verma inside the first six overs, India struggled to get going.

"We have addressed the issues in the first 10 overs but, in the middle overs, running between the wickets we are still working on. It's a work in process, we have a few young batters in the side, we have to give them some time and once they get used to the conditions, they will definitely fire."

Mandhana's struggles with the bat in the format continued with the left-hander scoring just 16 in the first ODI. The opener has breached the 50-run mark just once in the last nine games but Das is confident she will provide the much-needed solid start for India.

"I had a chat with her (Mandhana) and we have worked on her in the last two sessions, we have addressed the issues, she is a world-class player and we are backing her ability to get runs for us, and definitely, we'll see the difference in tomorrow's game."

Mithali, who scored a 107 ball-63, was once again the top scorer for the team and asked if the other players are taking advantage of the skipper's consistency, the coach said the youngsters in the side will perform after they settle in.

"There are a lot of youngsters in the team, Yastika (Bhatia) got an opportunity and she batted really well. It is a huge challenge for them and all these wickets are good batting wicket and I hope they'll perform well tomorrow."

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